Sunday, February 4, 2018

Loyalty, Leadership, Power, Love, and Fear

My teammates dogs, Ranger and Remington,  have started to blog.  Their latest blog was about what alpha really means and was titled: Loyalty and Leadership. They are funny as heck, but made me think that I needed to respond to them. 

Ranger and Remi, 

Now before I respond, I need to make it perfectly clear that I have always had a problem with authority, never more so than I became an authority figure myself. I try on a daily basis to make my students understand that rules are positive because they keep up safe. I also make sure that they know that it is sometimes necessary for a civilized people to break unjust laws, and take the consequences for that action. My life is full of strange contradictions like that. 

So, my wise wee-ones, human beings sometimes have leadership problems because they forget the pack. There are a couple of quotes about people and power (leadership). 

1) Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. -John Dahlber-Acton
2) “it is much safer to be feared than loved because is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” 
― Niccolò Machiavelli

When people forget that the pack is all of us, and sink slowly in to the cesspool of self-aggrandizement (Mom will tell you what that means) they allow power to corrupt them. They believe that they are better than the rest of the pack. They use their power to prove their own worth, and not to improve the well-being of the pack. 

Other humans find themselves in positions of leadership or power for which they are unready or perhaps are incapable of handling. Instead of asking for help, they assume a stance in which they must convince others that they- and only they- are the final say on all things. These leaders often decide that they must consolidate their power by making the pack fear them. Sooner or later, though, human history has shown that these leaders fail. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Davidson does it wrong- A 4th of July Parody

When in the course of Service Transactions, it becomes necessary for the consumer to divulge the inadequacies of a service department, a decent respect for the owners and other customers requires them to declare the reasons which compel them to criticize.
We hold the definition of  'customer service' and 'nice people' to be self evident: customer service means to do for the customer that which he or she cannot do for themselves; nice people means those who have been schooled in the art of courtesy and decency. But when a business proves that they do not hold to the standards of customer service and deny by their actions their own 'nice people to work with' slogan, then the consumer has the right and obligation to take the action that shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness. Accordingly, all experience has shown that customers are more disposed to suffer, while disrespect and poor service is sufferable, that to right the wrongs done to them. Such has been the patient suffering of these customers in their interaction with the business known as Davidson of Rome. "To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."
After the first bad review of service, we have not been asked to 'let them know how they are doing' so that the information could be posted on their website.
They took not into consideration the needs and calendar of the customer on more than one occasion.
They implied that the married couple lack communication.
They listen not, and interrupt frequently.
Promised communication about past service and future free services was never forthcoming.
Management refused to engage the customers in dialogue, despite repeated entreaties on  our part, until the last interaction.
They  waxed loquacious to excuse the dearth of quality workmanship; neither accepting responsibility and, in the case of the service manager, nor offering to rectify the situation in anyway.
 In every stage of these interactions we have verbally and electronically petitioned for redress of these grievances. At every stage we have been met with platitudes, justifications, rationalizations, and pathetic defenses.  We have warned them from time to time that as customers, we are entitled to 'nice people' and 'good service' by a company which claims they do 'it right.' We have reminded them of the extended warranty. We have appealed to their sense of justice, and we have reminded them of the bond between customer and company, but for naught.

We, therefore, as representatives for all who will not voice displeasure with shoddy service and pathetic customer relations, appeal to the social media for rectitude of this situation. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Odd findings of online reviews of Davidson Chevrolet

Davidson of Rome elicits feedback via email from its customers. They then post the reviews online. Most of the reviews are positive, although that is to be expected really. According to   " Research shows that people are more moved by in-depth reviews that discuss both positive and negative aspects of a brand in detail. Few of us are so motivated by a passing irritation or disappointment that we’d go to the trouble of crafting a good review just to get it off our chests." 

But does Davidson pay attention to their feedback? I submit the answer is yes, and no. 

The reviewer(s) of the comments does look at the stars (5 stars is a good rating, 1 star is a bad rating) but may not be looking at the comments. Read the actual review, and then the business response below. 

Both of the reviews have more than 3 stars, but the actual words are not positive. The business response, though, acts as if the words were positive. 

Another oddity I found was that, although not all business responses referred to the reviewer by name, since 2 May 2016,  TWENTY-SIX positive reviewers of Davidson's service were named in the response (which would make the reviewer feel valued) as well as ONE three-star reviewer. Yes, just THREE negative reviewers were responded to by name since July 2015. Again, there were not as many negative reviews, but it would seem that, if Davidson wants to smooth ruffled feathers, they would reach out more personally to the lackluster or negative reviewers.


Friday, July 1, 2016

A tale of two local businesses

According to their website, Davidson Chevrolet opened in 1962 in Rome NY.
AmeriCu Federal Credit Union began in 1950 to service Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome NY.
Davidson Chevrolet has grown considerably since its beginning, as has AmeriCu Federal Credit Union.
Last year I had a problem with AmeriCU about a lack of communication to members who had been a part of the credit union for years. At first I spoke with a manager who was condescending, unhelpful, and insisted that AmeriCU was doing everything right and nothing wrong. I disagreed. Being persistent, I continued to work up the chain of command until I was contacted by an Assistant Vice President.  We communicated several times via phone and email, and this VP admitted that things could be done better. I gave her a list of multiple ways to fix the problems as I saw them, and AmeriCU has fixed the issues, they even used some of my ideas!
My issues with Davidson started the day I first contacted them about a 2011 Traverse that was at their Watertown dealership. The salesman, whose name I do not recall, assured us that the vehicle would be brought to Rome. Well, he assured us after I had to show it to him on my phone because he couldn’t find it on his own computer, but I digress. The end result was that he never ordered it to be brought to Rome and we were told that we could take a trip to Watertown to see it. That should have clued me in to this dealership, but it didn’t. Eventually the Traverse was brought to Rome, and we dealt with a superior young salesman, Kyle. He is the only person with whom we have had contact who truly knows the meaning of customer service.  
We have gone up the chain of command at Davidson about the service issues. The assistant service manager does not listen, likes to interrupt, and doesn’t bother to introduce himself. He also promises to send information and confirmations of things he said to my husband, but does not do any of that. The service manager never answered our complaint emails, NEVER reached out to us, and when asked about the issue with the marks on our seat, said we had to make an appointment with the detailing center.  We also contacted Jason, who is somewhere higher on the chain of command. He promised BEFORE THIS LAST SERVICE APPOINTMENT that our problems would be solved, but when I sent him the photo of the marks on the seats, he said he was sorry that the seat appeared to have marks on it. Words matter and the word appears suggests that either we are in error or we are lying. I assure you, we are neither.

AmeriCU made a mistake and rectified it. Davidson made a mistake, and another, and another, and… well you get the idea. 

Today I opened a complaint with GM because emails like this went unacknowledged

EMAIL OF 5/20/2016 to service manager of Davidson of Rome.
I have a few complaints about the service recently done to my 2011 Traverse and the customer service given to my husband and I at Davidson's of Rome.   I know that my husband has written about some of them in a recent email and that he talked with Mr. B this morning. By the way, congratulations to Mr. B on his promotion, since it says on his card that he is the assistant service manager. You might want to get the website updated because on that he is a service advisor. But we will get back to Mr. B role in this fiasco in a few paragraphs.
Forgive me if I reiterate what was in my husband's email. I do not want the insinuation made again (it was made twice by LC) that my husband and I do not talk to each other.
During the week of the 25th of April we took our Traverse into Davidson Automotive Rome, New York, because the air conditioner did not work. At that time it was understandable that the service technician, unable to find a problem, would fill the air conditioner and add dye in order to see where the problem was occurring. When I picked up the vehicle I was asked to make another appointment. I wanted one later in May because the first two weeks were going to be hectic, I needed my vehicle, and I despised the loaner I had used during a different service appointment a month earlier. LC fairly well insisted that I make the appointment for May 9th. I did inform her that I needed the Traverse later that week to pick up my daughter from college.
On Mother's Day evening my husband and I left the Traverse at Davidson's in order to make sure it was there at 7:30 am the next day. I do not understand why, if the Traverse appointment was at 7:30 AND it was known at the prior appointment that the problem was NOT visible nor apparent, my vehicle was not seen until 10:56am. If the Traverse had been seen earlier, and the phone call made to GM earlier, then the warranty company would have been contacted earlier and it is probable that the vehicle could have been ready sooner.  LC had told me that there were other cars that needed servicing. I get that, I do.  So be honest, say that it might not get worked on when I need to be, but when it suits your dealership.
LC then called my husband and got us a loaner (ugh, I despise the Impala- the rear window is too small). We were told that the Traverse would not be ready Tuesday, but that she would call us Wednesday. Wednesday we got the call that the job would take about 10 hours and my      husband reminded her that we needed the Traverse back before we left the area on Friday morning. My husband called LC Thursday after 1pm and reiterated that I get out of work at 2:30. I arrived about 2:50 and was told that the Traverse was not done and that I  could come back in an hour. I explained that I lived in Westmoreland and was not going to drive there to just turn around and come back. I also said I was absolutely not happy and wanted to see the date and time stamps on the work that had been done. Lisa did show them to me, but when I began to ask questions, well, answers were not what I got.
LC was being a great service advisor, but not a great customer service representative. I heard her explain that she had seen pieces all over the place just an hour earlier and that things happen and it was a major job and I just needed to understand. Well, I am an extremely well educated human being and have a tremendous lexicon, but it is hard to understand why my vehicle was not done when I was asking questions and the person who could give the answers was too busy spewing the party line to hear the questions, much less give concrete answers. I also heard quite well the two times she made the inquiry about whether or not my husband and I talk. For a dealership that states that they are "Nice People to Do Business With' snarky comments like that belie your slogan.
While Lisa was pontificating and I was attempting to get her to give me details (to be fair, she did hear what I said once in a while and give an answer) in comes Mr. B.  Davidson chose a great assistant service manager because without my request (but perhaps hers) he came to the assistance of LC. The problem was, now I had not one, but two people talking- AT THE SAME TIME- and neither of them listening nor responding to what I was asking.  Having worked customer service, having taught middle school and recalcitrant students I knew that mollifying them was probably the only way to stop them. So I said I wasn't mad at Davidson's, I knew they did a great job, it was a design flaw that made getting to the problem so difficult. I even told that I hated the other major design flaw - the buffeting noise when one or more windows are down. LC understood immediately, but Mr B. said that you just had to open more than one window. Not nice, patronizing and dead wrong (really, I am bright enough to try everything), but 'nice person' to work with. Uh. no.
Stan was also not really a nice person when I was going to leave. When my Traverse was ready I went out and got in; and could not find the female end of the seatbelt. I re-entered the office area and told LC. Mr.B jumped to help; and pulled out the male end and saying "Here it is." I replied "Not that one." Mr. B  reached in, between the driver's seat and middle console, and told me "It is right here, it moves back and forth." Unless the female end of the seatbelt is left in the wrong place, it is quite difficult to push. I know. I have since tried. To say that I felt patronized and insulted is an understatement. To say that I thought that Mr. B was not a nice person and was perhaps a throwback to the era of chauvinist males who do not believe that women have a brain in their heads- well that is also an understatement.
As I pulled out of the bay, I noticed a rattling noise, but thought it might be something we left in the console or somewhere. I checked the air conditioning and it did work. When I got home I noticed the numerous grease/oil marks. The next day before leaving, my husband left a voicemail about the rattle and marks. He called again late that afternoon because no one called us back. (Just so you know, nice people to do business with promptly call back customers.) He was told to stop by that afternoon. Uh, yeah, because we hadn't made it abundantly clear to multiple people that we were going out of town.
Today my husband spoke with Mr. B for about 45 minutes. Mr. B was astonished that the comment had been made about Bob and I not talking (that doesn't surprise me since, even though he was standing next to LC one of the times, Mr B was too fond of the sound of his own voice and never was quiet long enough to hear anyone else say anything.) My husband was told that the warranty company sometimes takes a day to decide what to do, which I understand. Bob brought up the fact that two people had been talking at me and not listening. Never once in the forty-five minutes did Mr. B identify himself as one of those people, nor tell my husband that he (Mr. B) had had any interaction with me whatsoever on May 12th. Nice people to do business with don't prevaricate or commit sins of omission.

By the way, the air conditioner no longer works as of 7:18 this evening 20 May 2016. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Local car dealer doesn't know the meaning of customer service

4/26 - Traverse is seen at Davidson of Rome for problem with air conditioner; unable to find problem, puts in dye.
4/9-Traverse is returned to Davidson; Tech support of GM? or Chevrolet? is contacted and eventually a major part was replaced in the air conditioner. 
5/12- Email is sent at 2:31 saying Traverse is ready. I arrived at Davidson at 2:45 and am told that it will take another hour. Customer service personnel and customer service assistant manager are discourteous to say the least. At 4:15 the Traverse is done. Customer service reiterates twice that the air conditioner may not really be fixed and may need to be fixed.
Female end of seatbelt is not readily seen. Assistant Service manager is rude and condescending as he finds the end. I pull out of Davidson and hears rattling. Upon return home, oil or grease finger and hand prints are discovered on the front and middle row seats. 
5/13- Call is made by My husband to Davidson service voicemail about rattling in morning. Return call is never made. Call is made again by Husband, who is told that call was returned earlier that day. No voicemail or caller id confirms that, proving that customer service representative is prevaricating. 
5/15- We discover that the heater does not work on a 4 hour drive in snowy weather.
5/15- Husband emailed Service Manager JW, who never responded to complaint by any means.
5/20- Husband speaks with Mr. SB, the same assistant who had been less than helpful and more than rude to me. Mr. B promises that our next service call is free (We had purchased the top of the line warranty, so we don't pay much for service anyway) and that he (Mr. B) emailing both of us a timeline of everything done concerning the a/c and heating system. This was never done. Mr. B also stated that the fingerprints were probably on the fabric before the service call, which is not only ridiculous, it is irrelevant because of the purchased warranty. 
5/21- The air conditioner stopped working
5/21-I emailed Mr. W again, no response is ever given. In the email it expressly stated that the front seats and the middle seats needed new covers. 
After internet snooping, I find the Watertown site that has a 'live' complaint line. A telephone call is received by the owners by Jason, who promised satisfaction. At that time it was made perfectly clear that any communication between Davidson of Rome and the owners should be only with my husband
Despite that, I received a voicemail on or about 5/24 from Mr. B and responded with the following email: " Dear Mr. B, Thank you for calling. As I am disinclined to have interaction with anyone from Davidson’s of Rome; and will not do so without my husband being present, any communication you wish to have with me can be done via email."
On 6/27 the Traverse went in to Davidson of Rome. The air conditioner was fixed, but the passenger side middle row seat still had a stain. A visible stain. Mr. W tells Husband that the middle seats means only the middle seat, not the entire row, therefore Husband needs to make an appointment with detailing to get out the stain. Mr JW also stated that he was aware of the emails sent, but offered no reason for never contacting these customers.
Daughter and I find more stains.